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Ban on destructive fishing practice helps species recovery in Indonesian park

04 / 11 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

JAKARTA — Fish stocks in a marine national park in Indonesia increased significantly in the years after a ban on the use of coral-destroying nets was imposed, a recent study has found. The overall biomass of herbivorous fish species in Karimunjawa National Park more than doubled in 2012-2013 from the 2006-2009 period, signaling a recovery in fish stock, the researchers write in their study published in July in the journal Ecological Applications. They attribute the increase in biomass, which is key in conserving reef fish biodiversity, to a complete ban in 2011 on muroami fishing. This particular practice, common across Southeast Asia, uses large, non-discriminatory nets in combination with pounding devices to smash into coral reefs to flush out fish. Local fishermen also use compressor-and-hose diving equipment, putting their own lives at risk. Muroami fishermen haul in their catch. Image courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). A muroami fisherman inspects a net as it’s pulled up. Image courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The paper notes that the imposition of the muroami ban met with minimal resistance from local fishermen as they already understood that the practice was unprofitable and endangered their lives. In addition to biomass doubling rapidly following the ban, the variety of fish species recorded, or taxonomic richness, also increased by 30 percent, the authors write. Lead author Shinta Pardede, a researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Indonesia marine program, called Karimunjawa “the last frontier of coral reefs ecosystem in the Java Sea.” “The…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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